Study promotes primary care for sleep apnea patients

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

LLEIDA, Spain– A new study has found that monitoring patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) in a primary care setting is equally effective as monitoring them in sleep units.

The study was conducted by Respiratory Research Group and led by Dr. Ferran Barbé, head of respiratory at the University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova (HUAV) in Lleida, Spain.

For six months, 101 patients with OSA received primary care management at one of eight primary care centers in Lleida, while 109 patients received sleep unit management atthe University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova. Both groups consisted of predominantly middle-aged obese men with severe OSA.

At the end of six months, the mean CPAP compliance for the primary care group was 4.94 hours per night, while the mean CPAP compliance for the sleep unit group was 5.23 hours per night.

The study also revealed that primary care monitoring resulted in 60% savings. On average, the total cost per patient in the primary care group was €144 ($162), while the total cost per patient in the sleep unit group was €356 ($401). The cost difference was related to the monitoring performed by specialist nurses in the sleep unit. 

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